History Personal Statement
Due to my upbringing, I have always been encouraged to question everything, so I could create my own opinions and be imprinted on as little as possible by the media, friends and family: a key skill needed for a historian. This ignited a passion in me for history at an early age.
With enthusiasm comes commitment and a positive work ethic: this would drive me to dive deeper into topics and analyse sources from my chosen modules, questioning everything. I quickly learnt that not everything a teacher taught me was so plain and simple even though it was perceived to be. My ability to examine events through history and play devil’s advocate made me eager to do extra reading on critical, world changing events such as; the assassination of President John F Kennedy; 9/11; Nazi Germany and the rise of communism in Eastern Europe.
Ancient history encapsulated me from my very first lesson: the behaviour, the culture, the religions, the architecture, all engrossed me. From then on the ancient world had its grip on me. At the age of 7 I started watching documentaries on Roman emperors and Egyptian pharaohs (my favourite by far is Tutankhamun from the 18th dynasty). Due to studying Latin at GCSE level, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Rome, where the Roman world was really brought to life for me. A highlight was the city of Pompeii, which was incomprehensible for me to image prior to visiting it, but made me view the tragic events that unfolded there for the first time in an emotional sense.
Furthermore, as I’ve grown up and been able to understand political, social and economic factors, communism and fascism have taken my interest also. By taking both history and politics at A level, they have allowed me to have a greater understanding of the Nazi government and the Bolshevik’s charge for a communist government in Russia. Also my understanding of a coalition government advances my knowledge and understanding of how Britain dealt with the rise of fascism in Germany and Italy in the Second World War. All of these experiences have sparked my passion in history and confirmed my desire to study this further at a degree level.
I have always worked hard to develop parts of my life aside from academia, and will continue doing so at university. Due to my 10 years of playing netball at a high level, teamwork embedded in me, allowing me to work well with other people in high pressured situations. I would be able to apply this to group work and seminars as an undergraduate student, working together with fellow undergraduates to achieve a common goal and progress through the course as a team, sharing ideas and arguments. Through achieving both bronze and silver Duke of Edinburgh and being in the process of completing gold, I have done volunteer work for Oxfam book stores and gained valuable skills such as Makaton sign language and first aid. Due to the demand of good communication skills, determination, self-motivation and time management needed to complete and work well with your expedition team, transferring them over to create a good relationship with my subject tutors and degree would pose no problem. I attended work experience at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital for a week, to experience and learn out of my comfort zone. Being based on the intensive care unit made me more aware of the extreme side of medicine. Not only this but the structure of our health system and the advances we have made over time within health care. For my GCSE course I studied ‘medicine through time’ which started my interest in the history of the NHS and how William Beveridge’s social service report in 1942 was the catalyst for Aneurin Bevan’s National Health Service in 1948.
I am confident my enthusiasm, dedication and analytical skills would make me an ideal candidate and allow me to pursue a career in history. To study a degree in history would be a privilege.